Poll Roundup: Giving up GW games?

Here’s the results of our last poll. I’m having a hard time coming up with monthly questions, so from now on I’m leaving each poll up until it gets at least one hundred votes.

Giving up Games Workshop games?

  • 18% (18) No! Never! GW is the best!
  • 37% (38) No, but I play other systems too.
  • 36% (37) Yes, other systems are better!
  • 9% (9) Never bothered playing GW games.

Total Votes : 102

I think those are quite interesting results from those of you that voted. It seems most (91%) people have been exposed to Games Workshop’s product at some point in their gaming lives but many of you have, or are moving on from GW, with only 18% of voters still playing their games to exclusion.

Speaking personally GW was the first serious tabletop miniature game I played way back in 1988, prior to that I was only using small numbers of figures for D&D and Runequest RPGs. I happily played 40k for years (15 give or take) until becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the costs involved as well as the rules themselves. This led me to investigate other, more exotic beasts in the GW ‘stables’. Mordheim being the one I’ve played the most (I must also try Necromunda), which in turn led me back to Warhammer Fantasy briefly, before I discovered the Vampire Counts force I’d thrown together sucked. Most recently my gaming has started following my reading habits, with my interest in WWII history leading me to play the excellent Flames of War system produced by a local New Zealand manufacturer no less and my long term love of Raymond Chandler’s novels (and the related film noir) driving me to try Pulp gaming with .45 Adventure. I’m having great fun playing both these systems at the moment and my GW figures are slowly gathering dust.

As promised the next poll does not relate to GW, well not directly. I’m curious, what’s your favourite figure scale to model and paint in? I’ve also added a new discussion link for this poll too.

Poll Roundup: Games Workshop’s CAD Sculpting

Crikey, another month gone. Here’s the results of May’s poll:

Will Games Workshop’s new computer based sculpting:

* 11% (6) Make plastic figures worse?
* 35% (19) Make the plastic figures better?
* 20% (11) Make the plastic figures cheaper?
* 35% (19) Change nothing?

Total Votes : 55

So it seems most people think things will stay the same or get better. An optimistic few think Games Workshop plastics might actually get cheaper! Given the amount of trumpeting GW have been doing about how the new computer aided sculpting solution will speed their production techniques and allow them to produce more unique sprues a year, they logically should.

Historically mass production lowers prices after all. Given GW have priced themselves out of my personal hobbyist budget, and considering that by day I’m a mid-30’s fully employed white collar professional, one wonders if their falling figures sales might simply have something to do with their products no longer representing good value for money to the average 18-24 year old? Still this is a niche market, which is GW’s traditional rationale for regularly increasing prices.

Continuing in the GW bashing trend that seems to have developed, I’m interested to hear if anybody has stopped playing GW games recently for another reason: because their games just aren’t that much fun compared to other alternatives?

I’ve been finding Flames of War is currently occupying a lot of my hobby and gaming time and despite my usual dismal dice rolling and regular losses I’m enjoying every game of it. Games seem to always be a close run thing, and I’ve only had one game (against German armor) that I’d classify as a ‘depressing round of exercising the rules’ because the game was a sure thing by the second or third turn – for the Germans of course. However in 40k and WHFB I find these kinds of games crop up with monotonous regularity.

Consequentially my WHFB and 40k armies are going back in the cupboard and any GW modelling I do in the near future will once again be Mordheim related.

I swear next month’s poll will be totally unrelated to GW.

Poll Roundup: Did Tau need a New Codex?

Well as April has ended I guess I’d better change polls! Here’s the final results for April’s poll about the Tau.

Did the 40k Tau need a new Codex?

  • 21% (7): Yes! The old codex was broken
  • 30% (10): Yes! Old Tau were a one trick pony
  • 12% (4): No! Tau are even more unbalanced now
  • 36% (12): No! GW must have a Tau overstock

Total Votes : 33

So it seems people are split between the Tau needing a new Codex or not. Personally they’re the single reason I’m considering dropping 40k, or at least not bothering to play against Tau armies. Even though the Imperial Guard have been improved by 4th Edition they’re still a shooty army that just can’t shoot as well as these Xenos. Every game I play against them is simply not enjoyable and frankly I play games for fun. There’s a lot of other systems I could invest a 4 hour evening in.

If you’ve seen the latest Asia/Pacific White Dwarf #316 you may have noticed a vague two page article by Jervis Johnson that really told you nothing except that Games Workshop have changed to a new computer based sculpting method for their plastic sprues. Of course most of us knew this already.

Personally I’m curious to see how this new method impacts the quality and price of GW’s plastic figure lines. It will certainly allow them to produce the steel injection molds needed for plastic much more quickly. But will the figure quality be reduced? And more importantly, considering this process reduces costs for GW to produce plastic lines, will we see a price reduction at the consumer end? Now price reduction doesn’t mean just the box price, they could give us more figures per box for the same price. Yeah I know what you’re all thinking but I reckon it’s a valid question. Weigh in with your opinion in the May poll!

Poll Roundup: Modelling vs Gaming?

It seems most of the people that visit and vote are here for the terrain, according to March’s poll results (from 45 votes):

  • 51% : Making the terrain
  • 27% : Painting the figures
  • 22% : Rolling the dice

That’s pretty close to my personal feelings about this hobby too. I spend vast amounts of time making and painting terrain (hence this blog) and considerably less time painting figures and playing the games. I do enjoy the figures but it takes me a devil of a long time to paint even a single 28mm model to a standard I’m happy with.

I’m also only a fairly mediocre gamer with a history of really crappy dice rolling behind me. That’s why I started playing the Imperial Guard in 40k Rogue Trader, because I figured a fistful of dice must surely compensate for my low rolling! I tend to play for an amusing game rather than being overly concerned about winning, which means I’ll sometimes do tactically poor things simply for the elan! That might also explain my love of skirmish level games.

Anyway this month’s poll is about my current 40k pet peeve. The dirty Tau xenos! As an Imperial Guard player the Tau infuriate me with the broad range of inordinately cheap war gear that pretty much breaks every rule in the 40k shooting phase. I find they’re an incredibly frustrating opponent because most of the time I feel like I’m simply trying to beat their rules rather than the other player.

Favourite Game Poll Results II

Dlonnon from the DarkWing blog commented on the previous post, filling in a little of the missing information. This post is an edited version of his comment:

Stargrunt 2 is a game put out by Ground Zero Games. It is best described as Vietnam in space. It has a miniature line (fairly “realistic”) but the system itself is generic. Probably most famous for it’s complete lack of point system.

That reminds me of Starship Troopers by Mongoose Publishing which we also didn’t see in the poll results. This game has some great looking ‘sci fi bug’ miniatures that would look at home in any futuristic wargame.

Points systems are an interesting topic in themselves. Numerous people criticise Flames of War for it’s rather artificial inclusion of a GW-like points system in a historical wargame. However for any tabletop game that features regularly in tournaments points would seem to be the easiest way to go.

Speaking of Vietnam, can anybody recommend a good 28mm scale moderns skirmish ruleset? I’ve seen some great moderns terrain on Terragenesis which has piqued my interest.

Warzone is the original 40k clone (at least the first that was fairly successful). It was originally published by Target games (about 8 years ago), and briefly died when Target’s parent company went belly up (Warzone itself was said to be profitable). The rights were bought by Excelsior Games and they’ve slowly been revamping the rules and miniatures. A side note: Void was founded/started by ex-Target employees. The base rules for Void are almost identical to the old Warzone rules (except they 1/2’d the stats and used a d10 instead of a d20).

Interesting…although after 15 years of playing GW games I do prefer a D6 based game so I’ll stick with 40k and the three armies I already own.

I’d guess that “Railway Wars” was really the Great Rail Wars. It was put out by Pinnacle Enterainment Group. It was the miniature game that went with the RPG Deadlands. It is also the basis for the RPG/miniature game Savage Worlds. Savage Worlds is weird in that it’s both an RPG AND a miniatures game. Rumour has it will be re-released shortly after Deadlands Reloaded (a rewrite of the Deadlands RPG using the Savage Worlds rules), which should be out within the next month (in the US). The miniatures are still available from Jeff Valent’s Studios. They are good Western figures, but a smidge on the large size.

On further reflection those Jeff Valent figures aren’t the ones I’ve seen on the web. That range had a number of interesting figures like Chinese railway workers etc. It was probably one of the figure manufacturers listed on this ‘Wild West’ page however.

As an aside Jeff Valent Studios are an excellent supplier for sculpting tools and putties including very cheap ‘Green Stuff’.

Probably more than you wanted to know.

No that’s great information! Despite being a confirmed GW fanboy I’m always interested in other game systems…particularly since many of them come with their own unique figure ranges.

Poll Roundup: Favourite Game?

The results from our previous ‘Favourite Tabletop Game’ poll are interesting.

First we have the games I originally listed in the poll. I suspect most of our visitors are Games Workshop gamers, because this site is heavily dedicated to Mordheim. Although it’s nice to see we have about the same number of Flames of War visitors too.

Several visitors expanded the poll by adding the following entries, including many games I’ve not heard of. First are those that got multiple votes:

  • Stargrunt, 4 votes. This seems to be a sci-fi skirmish game. Although I can’t find official rules for sale, is it out of print? Any of our readers care to enlighten me?
  • Warzone, 4 votes. Boardgame Geek has a couple of listings for ‘Warzone’ although they all appear to relate to the same game family – Warzone, ‘Universe Under Siege’. Its sounds suspiciously like a Warhammer 40k clone to me and seems to have no online resources, once again readers please feel free to enlighten me!
  • Warmaster, 3 votes. Another Games Workshop Specialist Game, although I’ve never played it the idea of massed Fantasy battles with 10mm figures has a certain appeal.
  • WH Ancient Battles, 2 votes. I was surprised to learn that Games Workshop also have a line of ‘ancients’ rules.
  • Heroclix, 2 votes. A WizKids Games err game. Games with pre-painted collectable figures fall into the same realm as collectable card games imho and they’ve never really interested me that much.
  • Wargods of Aegyptus, 2 votes. I’ve seen this game is the past, mainly because of the interesting fantasy Egyptian miniatures they have. Any GW Tomb Kings player should definitely check their miniatures out!
  • WarMachine, 2 votes. This is a very slick looking skirmish game that has sorely tempted me in the past. Something about the combination of steam driven killer robots and magic ‘warcasters’ just appeals. Plus I’ve also heard the rules make for some interesting tactical play. Nice miniatures too!

Finally here are the single vote games.

  • Railway Wars, 1 vote. I have no idea what this game is…although I do recall seeing some alternate timeline Victoriana figures somewhere on the web. Alas I can’t find them now – can any reader enlighten me?
  • Urban War, 1 vote. Yet another sci-fi Skirmish game set in the Void 1.1 universe apparently.
  • Star Wars Miniatures, 1 vote. This game looks a lot like Wizards of the Coast’s answer to Heroclix and essentially seem to be a line of collectable, pre-painted plastic figures with rules so you’ve got something to do with them.